During the summer of 2019, The Tree of Life team welcomed intern Ingie Bahoe to the JPL campus. Ms. Bahoe is an engineering student at NYU Abu Dhabi, and she came to work with our telecommunications scientist, Dr. Alessandra Babuscia, to further research into the tree/antenna concept. Her research was wildly successful; she modeled the dielectric properties of a living tree to determine if we could harness its properties as an antenna component. The models were a success. The team is moving towards the prototype!
During the summer of 2019, Julia Christensen was awarded a residency at Fulcrum Arts, in Pasadena. Fulcrum is a non-profit arts organization that supports artists who work with scientists. In July, the A-Team had several chances to meet in the work room at the residency office in downtown Pasadena, where Christensen was developing musical scores and sonification patches to translate tree data into sound. In this photo, Christensen and Tom Hall are sharing their progress with A-Team members Roger Klemm and Steve Matousek, along with Ingie Bahoe, who joined the team from NYU Abu Dhabi for a summer internship at JPL.
Over the summer of 2019, Julia Christensen and musician/programmer Tom Hall created data sonification modules using Max/MSP. In this demonstration, sensors are reading the plant’s response to light and water, which shifts the pitch of the sonic frequency. The duo presented the prototypes at the summer A-Team session at Fulcrum Arts.
In May 2019, JPL’s A-Team held a meeting at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art + Tech Lab. The purpose of this meeting was to consider the Tree of Life mission concept in the context of an art museum, inspiring the team to think about the artistic underpinnings of the project. The day included a tour of works in the museum, led be Julia Christensen, that emphasize concepts central to the Tree of Life mission: longevity, messages for our descendents, the material as the message, and the future. Here is the crew brainstorming on stickie notes before sharing their ideas with the team!
On October 28, 2019, Dr. Anthony Freeman and artist Julia Christensen discussed their collaborative work on the Proxima B spacecraft/art concept, live, in front of an audience. The event took place in the Art + Tech Lab at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. To read a transcript of their conversation, along with questions from the audience, CLICK HERE.